Friday, July 29, 2016

Air Tractor AT-602, N2033N, registered to Rayne Aviation LLC and operated by Emrich Aerial Spraying LLC: Fatal accident occurred July 28, 2016 in David City, Butler County, Nebraska

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Lincoln, Nebraska
Air Tractor; Olney, Texas
Pratt & Whitney Canada; Quebec, Ontario

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

Registered to Rayne Aviation LLC
Operated by Emrich Aerial Spraying LLC

http://registry.faa.gov/N2033N

NTSB Identification: CEN16LA291 
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Thursday, July 28, 2016 in David City, NE
Aircraft: AIR TRACTOR AT602, registration: N2033N
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On July 28, 2016, about 1530 central daylight time (CDT), an Air Tractor AT-602, N2033N, impacted A corn field 3 miles northeast of David City, Nebraska. The pilot, the sole occupant on board, was fatally injured. The airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered to Rayne Aviation, LLC, and operated by Emrich Aerial Spraying, LLC, both of Dorchester, Nebraska, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 137 as an aerial application flight. Visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed at the time, and no flight plan had been filed. The flight originated from Columbus Municipal Airport (OLU), Columbus, Nebraska, about 1430.

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspectors who were on-scene, the airplane had been spraying Headline® Fungicide (pyraclostrobin – a Group 11 fungicide) on a corn field. The accident site was located 200 feet north of County Road 38 and west of County Road O. There was no fire and there were no witnesses to the accident.

The on-scene evidence was consistent with the airplane striking the ground in a right wing slightly low, 60° nose-down attitude. The airplane rebounded about 20 feet from the initial impact point and came to rest upright facing south. Witness marks in the field were consistent with a large sweep of the right wing through the corn crop, consistent with some right wing-down rolling motion at impact. All impact signatures and crop damage were in a northerly direction, and the debris field was small.

The aft cockpit wall immediately behind the pilot's seat was deformed. Elevator and rudder control continuity was confirmed. Aileron controls were found to be continuous except for fractures at both wing roots. All hardware was found to be properly installed. The Hobbs Meter was destroyed. The airplane was equipped with an inflatable restraint system, and it had deployed. The airplane was equipped with an inflatable restraint system and it had deployed. The flap actuator was found extended 3-7/8". According to Air Tractor, this setting correlated to a flap deflection of 28° to 30°. Examination of the engine revealed the fuel control unit (FCU) low pressure fuel filter had dark colored debris on the filter and in the bottom of the filter bowl. The FCU high pressure fuel filter had a chalky gray sediment in the housing. The propeller assembly had fractured off the engine propeller shaft on impact. Two blades remained attached. The other three blades had broken off the hub. One blade was found near the propeller assembly, a second blade was found in front of the fuselage, and the third blades was found several weeks later in a corn field some distance from the main wreckage.

On August 18, 2016, FAA and Pratt & Whitney examined the airplane, engine, propeller, and fuel system at the facilities of Dodson International in Rantoul. Kansas. According to Pratt & Whitney, the engine displayed contact signatures to its internal components, characteristic of the engine making significant power at impact. Engine components displayed no indications of malfunction or pre-impact failure. Examination of the recovered propeller blades and propeller hub bore no indications that the propeller may have been in Beta mode or reverse pitch.

On December 1, 2016, the propeller assembly was further re-examined under the auspices of two FAA inspectors at the facilities of Stallings Aircraft Propeller in Wynne, Arkansas. Representatives from Hartzell Propellers and Air Tractor were in attendance. According to Hartzell's report, blade butt, piston, cylinder, and rod impact marks indicated the propeller was operating at a blade angle range of approximately 16° to 19° at impact. The beta ring low pitch for this propeller is 13.9° and the "hydraulic" (aka "running") low pitch is approximately 7.9°. The estimated blade angle at impact was above the low pitch stop and in the normal operating range. The report concluded, "There were no discrepancies noted that would prevent or degrade normal propeller operation prior to impact. All damage was consistent with high impact forces with objects and/or terrain."

A SATLOC (an aerial guidance system that allows aerial applicators to view flight information, such as spray and waypoints, and companies to track the position of their aircraft) was recovered from the wreckage and sent to NTSB's Vehicle Recorder Division for download and readout. According to the GPS Specialist's factual report, the airplane had made six previous aerial applications that morning, and was engaged in a seventh application when the accident occurred. During this last application, the airplane made four passes followed by shallow turns in the opposite direction. During these turns, the altitude increased until the airplane reached 90° abeam the direction of application and descended as it completed the turn on the opposite heading. The last data point was captured at 15:03:57 as the aircraft was turning to complete its fifth pass. The recorded altitude showed the aircraft was at 1,841 feet msl and at a groundspeed of 96 miles per hour. The spray condition was off. The measured diameter of the airplane's last turn, from the impact point to a point abeam the impact point, was measured to be approximately 750 feet. The diameter of the previous turns throughout the entire accident flight ranged from 600 feet in diameter to over 1,000 feet in diameter. Based on the recorded data, the characteristics of the airplane's last turn prior to impacting the field did not greatly vary from other turns the airplane performed during the accident flight. According to the SATLOC manufacturer, up to six seconds of data may be lost in the volatile memory during a high impact.

According to an Arkansas Air Tractor pilot familiar with this accident, agricultural pilots often make turns with flaps extended to give the airplane greater stability. He said, "Most all the Air Tractors need flaps in turns when carrying a load. There are 3 notches of flaps in the AT-602: 15, 30 and 45°. Most Air Tractor pilots use 30° of flaps and keep their speed above 100 knots. There are some pilots who use 45° but let the airspeed get down to 80 to 90 knots in turns. There are other pilots who do wing-over turns. Some pilots pull their stall warning circuit breaker on the panel to keep it from annunciating during the turn. This 'on the edge' kind of flying is just a bad combination that gets worse as the weather warms up and the density altitude climbs."

The pilot's autopsy report attributed death to "massive blunt trauma secondary to a plane crash." His toxicology report revealed no evidence of carbon monoxide, ethanol, or drugs. Cyanide testing was not performed.

NTSB Identification: CEN16LA291
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Thursday, July 28, 2016 in David City, NE
Aircraft: AIR TRACTOR AT602, registration: N2033N
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On July 28, 2016, about 1530 central daylight time, an Air Tractor AT-602, N2033N, impacted a corn field 3 miles northeast of David City, Nebraska. The pilot, the sole occupant on board, was fatally injured. The airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered to Rayne Aviation, LLC, and operated by Emrich Aerial Spraying, LLC, both of Dorchester, Nebraska, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 as an aerial application flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan had been filed.

According to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector who was on-scene, the airplane had been spraying Headline® Fungicide (pyraclostrobin – a Group 11 fungicide). The airplane struck the ground in a wings-level, nose-down attitude in a corn field about 200 feet north of County Road 38 and west of County Road O intersection. There was no fire. The airplane was equipped with an inflatable restraint system and it had deployed. Flight Control continuity was confirmed to extent possible due to wreckage condition. The flap actuator was found in the fully extended position (~30 degrees deflection). According to the pilot's co-worker (and an Air Tractor pilot himself), agricultural pilots often make turns with flaps extended because of greater stability. Asked if the accident pilot reversed course by turning 45 degrees to the right, followed by a 180-degree turn to the left and another 135-degree turn to the left, he replied that the pilot was known to pull up and execute a wing-over maneuver instead. 



Ragnar Emrich
~



DAVID CITY -- A 37-year-old Dorchester man died Thursday afternoon in the crash of a spray plane 3 miles northeast of David City.

Ragnar Emrich was pronounced dead at the scene at 4 p.m., said Julie Reiter, the Butler County attorney.

Emrich was piloting the Emrich Aerial Spraying plane when it crashed in a cornfield about 70 yards north of County Road 38 and west of the County Road O intersection. A line of trees bordered the east-west road south of the crash site.

The crash was reported by a person who was in the area at about 3:20 p.m.

David City Fire and Rescue personnel made their way to the crash site with an ambulance, but soon moved the vehicle back to the road.

The site was restricted because of the presence of chemicals still in the plane.

The Butler County Sheriff’s Office and the Butler County Attorney’s Office were investigating the crash.

Representatives of the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board were making their way to the scene.







DAVID CITY — A 37-year-old Dorchester man was killed Thursday when the crop duster he was flying crashed in rural Butler County.

Ragnar Emrich was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, which was reported around 3:20 p.m. when the plane was spotted in a cornfield about 3 miles northeast of David City, near the intersection of county roads O and 38.

According to online information, Emrich operated his own business, Emrich Aerial Spraying based in Dorchester.

Butler County Attorney Julie Reiter said County Road 38 was closed between roads N and O while officials from the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board made their way to the site.

The Butler County Sheriff's and Attorney's offices are also part of the investigation. David City Fire and Rescue responded to the crash, which was reported by a person in the area.

Access to the area was restricted following the initial response because of the presence of agricultural chemicals still inside the plane.

Source:  http://columbustelegram.com

No comments: